DARREN FLETCHER begged Manchester United to back "frustrated" Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by making five new signings before Monday's deadline day.
The ex-Red Devils midfielder, 36, has seen his former side bring in just one new face this summer.
Donny van de Beek made the switch to Old Trafford for £39million but no others have followed him just yet.
And with the transfer window closing next week, Fletcher knows time is running out for the club to get the best possible squad assembled for the season.
He told Sky Sports: "We know it's more difficult for Manchester United to sign players. The value goes up, the negotiations are difficult.
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"But at the same time they will be frustrated – Ole, the fans, everybody around the club – by the fact that Chelsea and other teams can do their business early, and that other teams have spent a lot of money already while Manchester United look like they are going to leave it last minute.
"For me, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, for the job he has done for the club, from where it was to what it is now, deserves the players he wants in.
"He's always got the best interests of the club at heart, I know that, but sometimes Ole has to look after himself as well, because he's going to be judged season on season.
"People don't look at the work you've done, they want the here and now, and for Manchester United to get to where they want, they need players.
"They need three, four, five players to get anywhere close to challenging Liverpool. If they don't recruit, they are going to find it tough to finish top four.
"I would hate all that pressure and criticism to go on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, because I feel he's done a fantastic job.
"The board have to back him. Ole will have identified targets and so will the club. They've got five or six days to get him some help and get him some players in."
SUMMER OF FRUSTRATION
Jadon Sancho has been United's No1 transfer target throughout the summer window.
Despite a deal looking to be off the cards, SunSport revealed the Borussia Dortmund winger reckons a transfer could somehow get done in time – although that would rely on United stumping up the cash.
Juventus star Douglas Costa, Watford's Ismaila Sarr and Federico Chieso of Fiorentina were all linked as back-up options.
But a deal to bring Ousmane Dembele to Old Trafford could happen with United in talks with Barcelona over a season-long loan for the Frenchman.
Elsewhere, pursuits of defenders Dayot Upamecano and Kalidou Koulibaly have failed despite calls for a new centre-back to partner Harry Maguire.
And in attack, Edinson Cavani and Luka Jovic are among the names also linked while midfielder N'Golo Kante and left-back Alex Telles did not arrive.
Fletcher's former team-mate Gary Neville echoed the views United urgently need to get new signings through the door – especially with the rest of the 'big six' making significant additions.
He tweeted: "It's appalling that in this market which is probably the easiest in PL history to get transfers done that United haven't done more yet!
"They must get Ole a CB , LB and Forward pre deadline! The others are managing to get things over the line why not United!"
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